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Kumquats

Citrus, Desserts, Fresh produce, Fruit, Kumquats

Fresh Kumquat Cake a Great Use of Winter Fruit

December 10, 2015

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, kumquats are in big supply in southern Louisiana and other parts of the country right now, overloading backyard branches and appearing in the produce aisle in pint-sized containers. According to the LSU AgCenter, we grow two kinds of kumquats in Louisiana, the oblong Nagami and the rounder, sweeter Meiwa.

I have a couple of Meiwa kumquat trees in my herb garden, and every year, I struggle to use the crazy abundance of fruit that won’t stop coming. They’re like sharks teeth. Pick one, and it seems like a dozen more are right behind it in varying stages of ripeness, ready to take its place.

This simple kumquat cake is moist and flavorful and is a great way to use 2 cups of fresh fruit.

Kumquatcake3

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Celebrations, Christmas, Citrus, Fruit, Healthy, Kumquats, Local, Louisiana, Salads, Southern, Thanksgiving

Ambrosia revisited: Southern holiday fruit salad goes all natural

November 24, 2015

For the record, I’m a big fan of the mini-marshmallow.

Big fan.

One of my greatest food memories is cozying up to a marshmallow-y fruit salad — classic Southern ambrosia – that someone brought to my maternal grandfather’s after funeral gathering. I’ll never forget the way the baby marshmallows melted into the citrus juice, creating creamy goodness and a perfect comforting texture. I couldn’t stop eating it. Years later, I similarly fell in love with something called Green Stuff, a congealed cottage cheese and marshmallow fruit salad made by an old boyfriend’s mother and always served at his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Yum. I love a bowl of trashy.

But as much as I savor marshmallows, and as much as I bow down to tradition, this year, I wanted an all-natural version of the classic holiday side….

Ambrosia

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Breakfast, Citrus, Healthy, Kumquats, Local

Kumquat smoothie a healthy way to start the day

January 7, 2015

Kumquats are everywhere in South Louisiana right now, and guess what, they’re great for you.  LiveStrong has posted their impressive nutritional content, which includes lots of fiber and Vitamin C. Here’s a smoothie formula using kumquats that will stave off colds and make you feel great. If you’re a fan of orange marmalade, you’ll love this flavor profile.

1 large or two small servings

1 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup kumquat purée*

8 oz. can pineapple (any type) with juice

1 banana

1 tablespoon Agave nectar or honey (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a juicer or blender and serve immediately.

*To make 1 cup of kumquat puree, slice and seed 2 cups whole kumquats (about 15). Puree fruit, skin and all, in an food processor. Use in smoothies, quick breads, sorbet and other recipes.

 

Breakfast, Citrus, Kumquats, Local

Kumquat banana bread

January 6, 2015

At a certain point in the Deep South, it seems like kumquats that will not away. They’re everywhere, from gift baskets to supermarkets to local trees heavy with ripe fruit. The two in my herb garden are putting out a shocking number of kumquats this year, and they’re at their sweet peak right now. And because I’m a crappy gardener with minimal success in growing edibles, I hate the thought of letting any of them go to waste.

A few weeks back, I posted a kumquat honey sorbet recipe that was a big success. This time around, I’ve got a formula for kumquat-banana bread.

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Citrus, Kumquats, Thanksgiving

Kumquat honey sorbet

November 18, 2014

Just for kicks, what would you make for a holiday dessert if pie wasn’t an option? I threw that question out to my Facebook friends before Thanksgiving and, just to be mean, I also forbade bread pudding. Once we got past some initial protestations, a flood of interesting responses rolled in that clearly got everyone excited about the holiday table. I don’t mean to suggest you really can’t serve pie or bread pudding, but thinking beyond them is a fun way to get the creative juices flowing. Turkey and side dishes are often shackled by tradition, but the dessert course is an open playing field that begs for new additions. My friends were all over the map with suggestions like custard, pots de crème, cheesecakes (pumpkin being the frontrunner) and fruit crumbles. A hometown friend said nuts and Port, and a couple of folks tossed out sorbet. Sorbet seemed like a great place to start fiddling around, and the kumquats ripening in my backyard were perfect fodder. This is easy and you can make it ahead. Oh, and it does not require a sorbet or ice cream maker. Long live simplicity.

Kumquat Honey Sorbet

Serves 6

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 cups (1 pint) ripe kumquats, plus 3-4 few extra

1 tablespoon honey

Fresh mint and candied kumquats for garnish

Slice kumquats in half across the middle and remove seeds. Add to a food processor and pulse until pureed. Scrape into a medium size bowl. Add honey and simple syrup, which should be room temperature or cool. Pour mixture into an 8×8 glass pan and freeze for a few hours, until mostly firm but not quite set. Working in batches, run the nearly frozen mixture through a blender or food processor. The color will mellow and the consistency will become creamier. Spoon back into glass pan and refreeze a few hours until firm. When ready to serve, allow sorbet to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Scoop into a pretty glass and serve with fresh mint and candied kumquats.

Candied Kumquats

Bring 1 cup water to boil. Turn off heat and add ½ cup sugar. Whisk vigorously. Slice the extra kumquats crosswise into thin slices – as many as you need for garnish. Remove seeds. Drop into warm simple syrup in saucepan and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. When ready, garnish sorbet.